East Maitland resident Steve Jordan with Greens John Brown and Cate Faehrmann watching coal train at Victoria Street Station. Steve had a coal train action group’s monitor in his yard to monitor coal dust. Picture Phil HearneGREENS candidates visited an East Maitland home on Tuesdayto witness first hand the affects coal dust is having on Hunter communities.

Home owner Steve Jordan lives along the rail corridor and had a coal dust monitor installed in his backyard to collect data for the Coal Terminal Action Group.

Lead Senate candidate Cate Faehrmann met Mr Jordan with candidate for Paterson John Brown and said Hunter residents were concerned about the ongoing impact of coal dust.

Ms Faehrmann said recent dealings in the Senate showed industry and government were ‘‘colluding to keep the information from the public’’.

The Newcastle Herald reported on Monday that the Labor and Liberal parties moved to block the release of documents relating to an Australian Rail Track Corporation study of coal train dust in the Hunter.

The Greens were attempting to have the papers tabled in Senate after a leaked draft report showed significant changes to recommendations published in a final report.

‘‘I think the community is very suspicious about coal dust levels and don’t think they’re getting the right story,’’ Ms Faehrmann said.

‘‘The changes made were drastic and reversed the meanings of the original findings.

‘‘We will continue to pursue this and be the voice in parliament representing the community on this matter.’’

Mr Jordan said he was not in a position to comment on the report but believed the government needed to focus more on the amount of particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in Hunter airs and what percentage of that was coal dust.

‘‘I feel they’re sometimes looking at the wrong problem,’’ he said.

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